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March 1994


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Shawn Levy <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 10 Mar 1994 08:12:34 -0800
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
text/plain (51 lines)
Apropos of our long-lived discussion of S.L., here are some excerpts from
an articles that appeared in The Oregonian on 3/10 via the LA
Times-Washington Post Service.  A lot of it, I think, speaks for itself,
but I'd be curious to hear from anyone who knows a bit about Filipino
cinema or culture.
        "'Schindler's List' is causing a sensation in the Philippines,
but the expressions have swirled around the Oscar-nominated film have
nothing to do with its depctions of hte Nazi Holocaust.
        "Rather, Filipinos are abuzz over sex.  Specifically, a
lovemaking scene involving the film's protagonist and a mistress, plus a
couple of bedroom shots of a woman's breasts.
        "An official board of movie censors ordered the offending scenes,
about 30 seconds worth, cut from the highly acclaimed film before its
scheduled premiere last Wednesday.  Speilberg refused, insisting that his
movie be shown in its entirety or not at all.
        "The opening was postponed, and President Fidel Ramos stepped
into the fray last week and overruled the board, deciding that the movie
could be shown without cuts to anyone over 15.
        "A senator has called Ramos' move a "dangerous precedent" and
urged him to rescind it, while others have demanded the abolition of the
censorship board.
        "Behind the squable is this country's odd mixture of prudishness
and permissiveness.  A former Spanish colony that came under American
dominion during the first half of this century, the Philippines is the
only predominantly Roman Catholic country in Asia.  Wags have summarized
these influences as '300 years in a convent, 50 years in Hollywood.'
        "The fuss started at a special advance screening on Feb. 27.
Organizers had announced that the Movie and Television Review and
Classification Board had insisted on censoring parts of the film.  Since
Speilberg would not agree, the audience was told, the movie would not be
released to the public after that screening.  To enforce the censors'
decision, a representative of the board sat inthe projection room and
blocked the offending scens by putting a hand over the lens as the
audience booed loudly.
        "'The height of totalitarian idiocy,' railed viewer Raymond Lee
afterward in a letter to a Manila newspaper. 'Puke-inducing stupidity of
gargantuan prorportions.'
        "Manuel Morato, the [former] chief censor for six years, sprang to the
board's defense__and promptly was accused of ignorance and bigotry.
        "'If we shall allow ourselves to be cowed by an American Jew film
director-producer, then to me this is the worst case of American
imperialism," he said in a statement.  "This Speilberg is attacking our
moral fiber.  Can we allow only one American Jew to dictate on us (sic)
and to disregard Philippine laws?  Why should be allow ourselves to be
bullied by just one American Jew?"
       Shawn Levy       |   "I used to have such sweet, sweet dreams,
  [log in to unmask] |      But now it's more like an air raid."